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Thread: Rookie pool owner--update with test kit #s

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    Rookie pool owner--update with test kit #s

    I'm (obviously) new around here so go easy on me

    July 5 we purchased an above ground pool 15x42 and Intex Saltwater system. About a week ago the pH and alkalinity were low so we added pH plus and alkalinity plus. The next day we have algae in the bottom of the pool. I added HTH's Algae Super Guard (I know have found out that was the wrong thing to do). HTH Customer Service said I should be shocking the pool with Shock n Swim. Is this the same thing as using the "BOOST" option on my Intex Saltwater system? I'm so confused and worried we've royally screwed this pool up already. Please tell me this can be fixed without refilling the pool ($$$)--PLEASE!!

    I'm still trying to figure out all of the abbrv and lingo so if anyone responds could you spell it right out and explain it like you are talking to a first grader? LOL
    4000 gallon, AG Vinyl, SWG

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Rookie pool owner--so confused, so many questions!!

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    How is this for treating you like a 1st grader: Go to school ... Pool School!!!

    Everything is covered if you spend the time to read it a few times.
    Start with these to get a feel for the lingo and chemicals:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    pool-school/swimming_pool_definitions_abbreviations
    Recommended Pool Chemicals

    Once you start to understand the chemistry, then you will need to clear the pool following the SLAM process ... this is not just putting the SWG on boost. That will not add the chlorine fast enough. [slam:zk0osf7g][/slam:zk0osf7g]

    Some other reading:
    Defeating Algae
    Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparkling Oasis
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Rookie pool owner--so confused, so many questions!!

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Welcome to TFP!!!

    How is this for treating you like a 1st grader: Go to school ... Pool School!!!

    Everything is covered if you spend the time to read it a few times.
    Start with these to get a feel for the lingo and chemicals:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    pool-school/swimming_pool_definitions_abbreviations
    Recommended Pool Chemicals

    Once you start to understand the chemistry, then you will need to clear the pool following the SLAM process ... this is not just putting the SWG on boost. That will not add the chlorine fast enough. [slam:18im0qmq][/slam:18im0qmq]

    Some other reading:
    Defeating Algae
    Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparkling Oasis

    Started reading after I posted-- I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with this stuff--ready to pull the plug and just forget about the darn thing! (Although the kids would be so sad! )
    4000 gallon, AG Vinyl, SWG

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Rookie pool owner--so confused, so many questions!!

    It is certainly like drinking from a fire hose ... but if you stick to it ... you will very quickly know more than the pool store employees and be able to take control of the pool and at the same time save yourself a lot of money.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    GreatCanadian's Avatar
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    Re: Rookie pool owner--so confused, so many questions!!

    Don't be frustrated. You WILL get it!! When it starts to become clear you will gain control of your pool, and you will amazed how easy the maintenance is. And welcome!!
    13'x22'x52" 8,000 gallon ProSeries Pool with Borates
    Intex 110 pound Sand Filter with Zeobrite, 2650 gph pump, 0.95 hp
    Bestway SWG
    AquaPro ECO500 50,000 BTU heat pump
    GLI Whirlwind Solar Cover Reel, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Rookie pool owner--so confused, so many questions!!

    Thank you for the warm welcome This would be much easier if one of you guys could come over here and explain this to me in person :P
    4000 gallon, AG Vinyl, SWG

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    Re: Rookie pool owner--so confused, so many questions!!

    So what I'm reading that I need to "SLAM" my pool. I dont own any chlorine....well, I have the "shock n swim" stuff--that's chlorine, right? If I go test my levels with a test strip can someone help me with the next step?
    4000 gallon, AG Vinyl, SWG

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: Rookie pool owner--so confused, so many questions!!

    One thing I would like to add. Take deep breath and relax. Read pool school a few times. It will sink in. Get a good test kit. That will make things a ton easier. You only add what your pool needs. You will see how simple this really is.

    Read some of the posts and the answers that are given.


    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Rookie pool owner--so confused, so many questions!!

    Really the best first step is ordering one of the Recommended Test Kits. Test strips just are not believeable at all.

    You are correct you need to SLAM the pool, but to do that correctly, you can not use test strips and need the FAS-DPD chlorine test.

    And you should be using liquid chlorine ... all the solid forms have side effects that can cause problems.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Rookie pool owner--so confused, so many questions!!

    I think this is confusing me even more :/. I don't have much of a budget for the pool at the moment thank to some surprises. I have some chemicals and testing strips and if they don't really work then it looks like I will be taking this down. SO frustrated.


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    4000 gallon, AG Vinyl, SWG

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Rookie pool owner--so confused, so many questions!!

    How expensive is your water really? You maybe have 4000 gallons ... seems like $5/1000 is kind of an average cost or water. So it might be around $20 to drain and start over. IF you do, then get one of the cheap drop kits and follow this:
    pool-school/temporary_pool_guide
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Rookie pool owner--so confused, so many questions!!

    Like you I am a new pool owner this year. I was also confused and overwhelmed in the beginning but here we are mid summer and I have it down to a science. I follow the BBB method and have only purchased liquid chlorine from the pool store. Everything else I have gotten from Home Depot or Walmart. Now I test for chlorine daily and test other stuff once a week. My maintenance takes about 15-20 minutes a day. Stay calm you will get it :
    14000 gal AG vinyl liner. 150lb Hayward sand filter 1hp 2 speed pump.

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    Re: Rookie pool owner--so confused, so many questions!!

    I am also new here, I thought i knew how to manage my pool last year was a breeze with it in the shade, this year we wanted more sun so we moved it, I had a green pool about 2 weeks ago and I hit it with some store bought HTH algaecide it cleared up the green but left me murky, which after a few days of trying to get my chlorine from shock treatments I came here...

    you are not alone, apparently there are many people who make mistakes, so many in fact they invented the eraser

    I am still SLAMing my pool but there is much improvement if you have nasty water you can turn it around it just takes time and vigilance, and of course the fine folks here to TFP, without whom I would be hopelessly drowning in milky water, blech...

    Best of luck to you Kellie!!
    10k Gal, AG Vinyl (Intex 22' Metal Frame), RP2500 pump, Intex B Filters

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    Re: Rookie pool owner--so confused, so many questions!!

    Hi Kellie, a year ago I was you. I own the same pool as you. We were walking through Sears late July 2012 and saw it on sale. They had one left and we purchased it on impulse. I always wanted a pool and now I own one and love it. My kids and I are in the water every day.

    Like you, initially I was overwhelmed and floundered around and just added chemicals randomly based on what the guy at the pool store said. The test strips are so hard to read that they are almost worthless. But you have an advantage that you found this website so early in the game.

    I would highly recommend that you immediately get a good test kit. I bought the TF-100 from the links on this website and am very happy with it. The test kit will quickly pay for itself because you will no longer need to visit the pool store and buy expensive chemicals you really don't need. Did you take Chemistry in high school? Testing pool water is less difficult than Chem lab. I test pH and chlorine every day. Takes 5 minutes. I do the full set of tests once per week. That takes about 15 minutes. You really need to test your water to know where you're starting from.

    The main thing you need to add is bleach. It is commonly available and cheap. In fact the only thing I put in my pool on a regular basis is bleach, about 13 oz. per day of 8.25% bleach. Make sure you get "regular bleach" with no other additives. It is basic and cheap.

    When necessary I use a little 20 Mule Team Borax to raise the pH. When I first filled the pool I added borax to get the pH to 7.5 and baking soda to raise the alkalinity. I have not had to add any baking soda since. The final ingredient is stabilizer (cyanuric acid) which I bought at the pool store. I have a large tub 5 lbs. or so I bought last season and still have some left. You don't need much for our small pools. CYA does not dissolve easily so I put it in an old sock and tie it to the side of the pool.

    To determine how much of each chemical to add, use the Pool Calculator (also on this website) to tell you exactly what chemicals to add, but again, you must know your starting point first so you really need that test kit.

    Good luck and don't give up. It is worth it. If you have any question please ask.
    Jim
    Intex 15' x 42" -- 4,000 gallons
    installed August 2012
    Intex 2650 sand filter, Hayward skimmer
    TF-100 test kit, TFP method

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    bof's Avatar
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    Re: Rookie pool owner--so confused, so many questions!!

    I am also new to pool maintenance the only advice I can give is to read what this site has to say then read it again as you will definitely miss something
    Good LUCK
    Living in Cyprus
    In ground overflow pool tiled 12m X 4m 19507 Us gals 16243 Imp gals
    1 Kw motor 15 cu m per min Sand filter
    I thought I saw the light at the end of the tunnel but it was just some PERSON with a torch walking toward me.
    I started out in life with nothing and I still have most of it left.

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    Re: Rookie pool owner--so confused, so many questions!!

    Don't let it get you down. With a little time and some good reading on here, you will get it. I was frustrated when I first put my pool up and was so lucky to have found this site. Just keep reading pool school and listen to the advice. This site helped me out a bunch, I have been able to swim in my pool 24/7 since we put it up in June. Only method I use is the BBB method.. Boy does it ever save money

    P.S Welcome to the site This is your one stop shop for GREAT advice
    15' X 48" Intex Metal Frame pool with skimmer on side and Type A filter

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    Re: Rookie pool owner--so confused, so many questions!!

    Still beyond frustrated with this whole salt water system! I haven't had the chance to purchase a test kit ($$) so I tried a double dose of shock which helped. Last night I decided I'd try the boost feature and woke up this morn to more algae! Gah!! Still testing low for chlorine (w strips). Have a feeling the saltwater system isn't working.


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    4000 gallon, AG Vinyl, SWG

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    Re: Rookie pool owner--so confused, so many questions!!

    It might be that the chlorine is being consumed as fast as the SWG can make it, or it is possible that the strips are bad. I had hth strips (from before I found this site) and no matter how much chlorine was in the pool, they said there was none. Even when I first bought them. If you get a cheap OTO test you can at least confirm whether or not the cell is working.
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
    Wanda the Whale pool vacuum, home made heater, Taylor K-2006
    Cloudy Pool? 1) Order test kit. 2) Follow SLAM
    New to TFPC? Read Pool School a few times, then post questions. PoolMath will help with chemical additions.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Rookie pool owner--so confused, so many questions!!

    A SWG will not be able to clear a pool of algae, they just do not produce enough FC and they do it too slowly. You have to SLAM the pool with liquid chlorine and that requires a better ability to test than strips will provide. [slam:3bvh98z2][/slam:3bvh98z2]
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Rookie pool owner--so confused, so many questions!!

    So just curious what the consensus is on sw systems? Waste of money? Should I just return it?? I wanted it because I have a family member allergic to chlorine (but not produced by the sw system).

    Reading up on the SLAM process now.


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    4000 gallon, AG Vinyl, SWG

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